28 March 2023

Top-notch Career Guidance: Schoolchildren in Nakhodka get Acquainted with Profession of Chemist.

Kids from 1A grade in Nakhodka’s Grammar School No. 1 have tried their hand at being chemists. They analyzed several samples of yogurt and looked for starch in familiar foods such as bread, bananas, sausages, and cabbage. This was a vocational guidance lesson, given by Ksenia Miskhova, Chief of the Sanitary and Environmental Control Laboratory of the Nakhodka Mineral Fertilizer Plant (NFP).

The lesson was part of the long-term Parents-to-School initiative for the first-graders. “It is difficult for children to decide what they want to be when they grow up. It is the task of adults to help them. Therefore, from the first days of school, we invite representatives of various professions, acquaint kids with the diversity of specialties so that they have a clear picture and choice, so that they set their own goals and keep achieving them,” said Oksana Novikova, head teacher of the 1A class.

The grammar-school kids had a chance to feel like they were true chemists. They conducted several experiments by mixing water with various components and then using a pH test to determine whether the solution was acidic or alkaline. They also worked as laboratory assistants: first, they tested different products for the presence of starch, and then they arranged a testing laboratory to determine the quality of various samples of yogurt. The children were thrilled.

“Chemistry is like magic! I dreamed of participating in something like this. I now want to become a chemist and to run different experiments. Even explosions sometimes happen, and I was a little disappointed that there were none today. But I enjoyed it very much,” said Mikhail Penkov, a 1A-grade pupil.

When asked if it is too early for first-graders to learn about chemistry, Ksenia Miskhova, who works for NFP, replied that chemistry can be interesting at any age. “A chemist is a modern, interesting, and in-demand profession. We want make children understand that one can earn money not just by being a blogger. And with such a large-scale project as NFP, there will be more and more career opportunities for people with technical background (including chemistry)

Chemistry is everywhere around us: from colorful candies to dishwashing detergents. Children already understand the basics, and they find it interesting,” said Ksenia Miskhova.

It is worth noting that in addition to chemistry, NFP regularly holds environmental lessons in schools of Nakhodka. During these lessons, NFP team members explain how to properly sort waste, why it should be recycled, why a battery thrown in a regular trash bin is dangerous, and how treatment units operate in modern production facilities.